Premenstrual tension, commonly called premenstrual syndrome or P-M-S, is a condition many women experience during the week or so preceding a menstrual period. This condition encompasses a wide range of physical and emotional symptoms, including moodiness, irritability, fluid retention, backache, breast tenderness, fatigue, and insomnia. While the symptoms of premenstrual tension are mild in some women, others have difficulty coping with daily activities. Hormonal imbalances are thought to be partly responsible for many of the symptoms. However, the condition is likely to be the result of many factors, and so can be difficult to diagnose. Before seeing a health care professional, it's a good idea to keep a diary of your symptoms, including when they are worse and how they affect your life. This may help your doctor recommend an effective treatment program, which can range from diet and stress reduction techniques to the need for prescription medications. In some women, birth control pills can lessen the severity of P-M-S. Vitamin B-6 and magnesium may also help; but be sure to consult your doctor to find out what dosage is safe. For more information on premenstrual tension, contact a health care professional.